Bull City United treats violence as a public health issue for many reasons.
1. Violence spreads like a contagious disease.
Violence spreads from one person to another, just like the flu. Seeing or experiencing violence increases your likelihood of committing violence.
2. Violence disproportionately affects our young people.
In Durham County, homicide has been the leading cause of death for young men (ages 1 to 25) since 2009. Suicide (self-harm) is the 2nd leading cause of death for young men in this age group. Young people in our community are the most likely to be involved, as victims and perpetrators, of violence.
3. Exposure to violence causes long-term damage to your health.
We are aware of the obvious effects of violence such as death and serious injuries. However, being exposed to violence has effects that may not be seen for years. Exposure to violence is linked to chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and even dementia. You don't even have to leave your home or neighborhood to suffer the effects of violence. Studies have found that in neighborhoods with high levels of violence, as many as 1/3 of all residents have symptoms consistent with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
4. Violence can be cured.
Bull City United team members identify individuals who are at highest risk of becoming involved in violence, and then provide support and encouragement to those individuals in order to change their behavior over time.
Bull City United has created some public education materials about violence that you can print out and use. Just click on the picture below to download a PDF version of the flier.
Learn More About the Cure Violence Model
What do Bull City United team members do, exactly, to stop violence?
In 2013, PBS created and aired a documentary on the work of Cure Violence personnel in Chicago called "The Interrupters." This documentary followed violence interrupters and outreach workers from Chicago Cure Violence sites as they worked to stop shootings and killings in their neighborhood. Watch the documentary to see a firsthand view of violence interruption, which is very similar to the work performed by Bull City United team members.
How do you know that this model is effective?
The Cure Violence model has been implemented in cities around the U.S., and has been extensively evaluated. These evaluations showed that Cure Violence, when implemented properly, reduced shootings and murders by a substantial margin (41-73% depending on the community and the evaluation). Read more about the scientific evidence that Cure Violence is effective.